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  1. ITV Report

Arctic rowers breaking world records on epic voyage

A crew of rowers have set five world records as they make their way across the Arctic.

The crew have already travelled 566 nautical miles in seven days, rowing from Tromsø in Norway to Svalbard, and are chasing another two group records.

It is the first ever "south to north" row in the Arctic and has seen them reach the northernmost latitude achieved by a rowing crew.

En route, the international team - Skipper Fiann Paul (Iceland), Carlo Facchino (USA), Jeff Willis (UK), Tor Wigmun (Norway) and Roy Tathagata (India) - have been rowing continuously for 24 hours a day in two-hour shifts.

They will shortly be setting off on the second leg of their epic voyage, which will take them 1,200 miles to Iceland and be the longest Arctic crossing ever completed.

Skipper Fiann Paul, who has also set two individual records on the way, said: "We set a speed record which we believe will not be beaten for many years to come and broke the record for the northern most altitude reached by a rowing vessel that previously stood for 27 years.

"However, we experienced some serious technological setbacks and challenges along the way which took up valuable time effort to resolve and work around.

"The hard work and spirit of the team was outstanding and we pulled together to eventually overcome every hurdle we faced on our epic voyage."

The crew will leave Svalbard at the end of this week and expect to arrive in Iceland by the beginning of September, facing icy waters and strong, unpredictable Arctic winds along the way.

When they reach their destination, they will become the first team to row the Arctic in both directions.

The team includes two-time Team GB Olympic Gold medallist Alex Gregory, who will be joining for the second leg of the journey, and is backed by rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave.

The crew are raising money to build a school in the Himalayas.

You can donate on their fundraising page and find out more information about the voyage on their website.